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Do You Know What is in Your Supplements?

Posted on in Product Liability

herbal supplement product liability, Chicago personal injury lawyerIn an independent test by the New York State Attorney General’s office, it was found that four major retailers’ name brand herbal supplements did not contain the herbs listed. Instead, the supplements contained filler ingredients, some of which may cause allergic reactions.  Mislabeling products is considered a product liability issue. For example, if you are allergic to an ingredient in the product or you have an adverse side effect because it is not labeled correctly, the product manufacturer is responsible for compensating you, the consumer.

The New York State Attorney General’s office sent Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, GNC, and Target a “Cease and Desist Notification” to pull the named products in the notification off their shelves and explain their process about how they verify the ingredients on the labels of the listed supplements. The tests found that four out of five products did not contain any of the herbs listed on their labels. The tests did find fillers, such as wheat, asparagus, powered rice, and house plants, in the supplements.

Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like prescription medications are. They are not required to go through the same rigorous testing that prescriptions are before they are sold to consumers. Supplement regulation is based on an honor system that operates with the understanding that the manufacturer is being truthful about what ingredients are in the product and the labeling on the product is true.

This means ingredients, such as wheat or powered legumes, which are a type of plant that includes peanuts and soybeans, may be used as fillers in the supplements. This can cause consumers to have serious or deadly reactions to supplements if they do not know the supplements contain certain ingredients. In these cases, the FDA then starts an investigation after reports or complaints have been filed relating to the supplement.

Consumers’ lives should not be at risk because supplement manufacturers mislabel their products. Consumers should be able to feel safe and trust that the ingredients listed on the supplement are what it contains and not have to worry about fillers. Suppressing the correct information in the attempt to sell more products is a product liability and leads to lawsuits filed against the supplement manufacturer and the companies who sold the products to compensate the consumers who were misled.

Supplement manufacturers should be held accountable for mislabeling their products and using filler ingredients that can potentially cause some consumers to have serious or deadly reactions. If you or a family member has been affected as a result of taking a supplement that was mislabeled, contact a Chicago product liability attorney today. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., at 312-553-4900 for a free initial consultation.

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